Shooting Foxes Too…

The main reason for calling this general election hinges around the Brexit negotiations, Theresa May having a big enough majority to ensure that she has sufficient room for manoeuvre when striking a deal with the EU without being constrained by a minority within her own party much given to back seat driving be they Leavers or Remainers.

But it is also something else too, an opportunity to ditch the 2015 Conservative manifesto which laid far too many constraints on a ‘new’ Tory Government and as a side issue, it also has the effect of shooting the foxes of a few other people in the process. This may not be considered very “sporting” in some circles but, it is rather effective. Continue Reading →

Brexit Begins

So today is an historic one, it is the day that we formally trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and start the two year process of extricating the UK from the EU as a member state. Obviously there is much speculation both in the UK and within Europe on how this will all go but with one common theme, fear and uncertainty on all sides.

The main reason for this is because following the debacle of the aborted “EU Constitution” which was rejected by both the French and Dutch electorates, a crude rehash became the basis of the Lisbon Treaty with Article 50 tacked on to assuage those fearing a ‘Federalist Agenda’. The problem was that it ( Article 50 ), was never intended to be actually used like some kind of nuclear weapon so frankly exactly how it might work in reality was never fully worked out. Continue Reading →

And Enough…

It would be difficult to explain to any member of the SNP in terms that they would easily comprehend just how out of order their behaviour is to those of us South of the Border who have consistently supported the diversity of the constituent parts of these islands that make up the United Kingdom. So plain speaking in a manner that our Prime Minister charged with doing the best for all of the UK cannot be allowed to indulge in, is required.

The majority of us in England have had enough of your constant grievances and we wish you a second referendum on independence as soon as possible after Brexit negotiations are completed if you are really that unhappy, we have no problem with you leaving the UK if that is what a majority of your electorate want. Continue Reading →

A Vote for Parliamentary Supremacy

Whilst not the result that I would have thought ideal or expedient, as someone who voted for ‘Leave’ an important part of which was the sovereignty of Parliament in these islands, I have no problem with the ruling of The Supreme Court. I especially appreciated that their Lordships confined themselves to the basic principles rather than get themselves in a tangle over the details.

For Gina Miller this was a “victory” but I suspect that for her, it hardly seems like one and if the Palace of Westminster does it’s job efficiently, legislation should pass before the end of February which is not to say that the principle wasn’t worth fighting for with the vast amounts of ‘lawyer money’ it will have cost her, I suppose. Continue Reading →

The Autumn Statement

Yesterday the Chancellor Philip Hammond gave his Autumn Statement to the Commons in which he outlined his current view of the UK economy and what his dispositions would be to deal with the way ahead as we prepare for Brexit and so forth.

Of course there is no way he was going to please anybody, for the ‘Remain’ camp still licking their wounds, his picture couldn’t be depressing enough, for the Brexiteers, not optimistic enough but his real target were the people who buy UK Government debt. For them he had to present the face of a Government that was responsible and prudent but also nimble enough to seize whatever economic opportunities may present themselves. Continue Reading →

MPs Need to Back Off

On Sunday morning Nick Clegg the former Leader of the LibDems, Deputy PM and well known lover of all things EU proposed that Theresa May should present her plans for Brexit to the House and prior to starting negotiations with Brussels. As a ploy to overturn the democratically expressed wishes to leave the EU, it was all too obvious, an attempt that by using Parliamentary procedure, the whole negotiations would descend into total farce and totally cobble the UK Government. Shame upon that man !

Although fortunately not in the real sense, the Brexit discussions need to be treated by the UK the same as going to war, you do not tell your ‘enemy’ your plans any more than you would in a shooting war. Continue Reading →

Get Your Excuses In First

It is with great amusement surely that the world of British politics can watch Nicola Sturgeon twist and turn until she is tied up hopelessly in knots of her own making. As I’ve written before, I have a certain sympathy with her predicament in a post referendum UK that has delivered a Brexit decision, for her it is a tricky one to handle and the circumstances are not on her side. To to try and squeeze in a second indy referendum might well produce a worse result for the SNP than even last time… Continue Reading →

A UK Breakup – Not Likely

In the wake of the Brexit vote we have Nicola Sturgeon talking about another referendum on Scottish independence and even the Irish Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Enda Kenny’s comments on a possible referendum on Irish unity a “border poll”. I suspect that although anything is possible if people want it bad enough, neither represents much in the way of economic reality nor likely the wishes of the majority.

Whilst there are strident voices both in SNP Scotland and Nationalist Ireland the simple truth is that in just economic terms, the UK is far more important to NI and Scotland than the EU will ever be. Plus that may also be true for Southern Ireland too and even so, there must be a really big question mark over whether the majority of Southern Irish citizens would actually welcome reunification of Ireland with all the problems that is likely to bring with it. Continue Reading →

Plus ça change

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – “the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the post EU Referendum result is the total bollocks being put about by those on the losing side. A petition of over 2 million people to set the result aside is one, a totally dangerous precedent if ever there was. Nicola Sturgeon banging on about Scotland’s essential interests in being part of the EU when economically it is totally bound to the UK, is another example and all sorts of other statements by European politicians with ‘hurt’ feelings.

High time some common sense was injected into the situation and people took notice of the wonderful French phrase above because for now, nothing has changed all that has happened is a signal has been posted to enable all the people involved to manage positive and beneficial changes over the years ahead. So to all whingers who didn’t like the result, “Get Over It and Yourselves !” Continue Reading →

Golly Gosh

Despite the fact that I voted Leave, my expectation was for a Remain victory around 55/45% so to wake up this morning to a 52/48% win for leaving the EU is quite astounding but none the less, quite delightful too. Full marks to David Cameron announcing his intention to step down in the Autumn, as I wrote before today, win or lose that was an inevitability because of the way he ran the campaign, a win for Remain wouldn’t have changed that.

It is too early in the immediate aftermath to make very many predictions about the immediate way ahead, the dust needs to settle a bit and it will only be during next week that one can come up with realistic prognostications but here some thoughts. Continue Reading →